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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2018

Peter Holdt Christensen and Torben Pedersen

The authors focus on how intra-organizational proximity influences the frequency of knowledge transfer in dyads, and the authors seek to balance the over-socialized and…

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1322

Abstract

Purpose

The authors focus on how intra-organizational proximity influences the frequency of knowledge transfer in dyads, and the authors seek to balance the over-socialized and under-socialized perspectives of knowledge sharing by focusing on how proximity both indirectly (mediated by social relationships) and directly influences the frequency of knowledge sharing. Empirically, the authors analyze how proximity in a five-story building directly and indirectly influences the frequency of knowledge sharing.

Design/methodology/approach

As the authors were interested in exploring the frequency of knowledge sharing among individuals in knowledge sharing dyads, they used a survey to approach individuals directly and obtain information on the frequency of their knowledge sharing. The authors have complete data on 796 dyads on which they tested their hypotheses. Further, the physical distance in a dyad was measured as the walking distance (measured in meters) between individuals.

Findings

The authors first find that proximity positively affects the frequency of knowledge sharing indirectly through its promotion of social relationships. Second, it is noticeable that the direct relationship between proximity and knowledge sharing is stronger than the indirect via the promotion of social relationships. In sum, the authors’ results contribute to the knowledge sharing literature by emphasizing and clarifying how proximity both directly and indirectly influences knowledge sharing.

Research limitations/implications

This study has some limitations. First, this study only measured the frequency of knowledge sharing among individuals. Neither individual nor organizational outcomes of knowledge sharing were considered. Second, the authors did not distinguish between different channels for knowledge sharing, such as face-to-face or face-to-interface.

Practical implications

One practical implication is that knowledge sharing spanning, for instance, 50 m compared to knowledge sharing spanning 30 m may not necessarily require more resources, as the negative effect of 30 and 50 m distances is almost similar, as the negative effect of distance starts to fade out at 30 m. Another practical implication for the direct effect of proximity on knowledge sharing is that to foster knowledge sharing organizational practices need to create opportunities for employees to span both horizontal and vertical distances.

Originality/value

The authors’ results contribute to the knowledge sharing literature by empirically emphasizing and clarifying how intra-organizational proximity both directly and indirectly influences knowledge sharing.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 22 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 26 June 2018

Julia Nieves and Gonzalo Diaz-Meneses

The purpose of this study is to identify the role played by external knowledge sources and intra-organizational collaboration as determinants of innovation in hotel firms…

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1084

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to identify the role played by external knowledge sources and intra-organizational collaboration as determinants of innovation in hotel firms. It proposes that local knowledge sources and intra-organizational collaboration determine the probability of producing incremental innovations, and that non-local knowledge sources determine the introduction of radical innovations.

Design/methodology/approach

Descriptive statistics made it possible to evaluate the importance of each of the external sources as the origin of ideas for innovation. Principal component analysis was used to find homogeneous groups based on the different knowledge sources contemplated. Multiple regression analysis was used to determine which variables predict a hotel’s capacity to introduce innovations.

Findings

The findings suggest a dissociation between innovations adopted by directly incorporating the specific knowledge provided by external agents and innovations that require the mediation of intra-organizational collaboration for their development.

Research limitations/implications

Future qualitative studies can provide data that would considerably improve the understanding of how innovation processes are produced in hotel companies based on the use of external knowledge and how hotel firms develop spaces to exchange and combine internal knowledge.

Practical implications

Hotel firms can adopt innovations by incorporating specific knowledge from external companies or by developing their own innovations based on information gathered from external agents or events (e.g. customers, attending trade fairs and professional conferences). The transformation of this information into innovations requires the establishment of internal communication channels that foment employees’ collaboration and exchange of information.

Originality/value

The study provides empirical evidence for the relevant role played by both external agents and intra-organizational relationships as sources of knowledge to foster innovation in hotel firms. External agents are classified as local and non-local sources, and their effect on innovation is analyzed, distinguishing between incremental and radical innovations.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 30 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Article
Publication date: 19 August 2021

Gerry Larsson, Aida Alvinius, Bjørn Bakken and Thorvald Hœrem

This paper aims to systematically review the extant research on social psychological aspects of civil-military inter-organizational collaboration, particularly in a total…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to systematically review the extant research on social psychological aspects of civil-military inter-organizational collaboration, particularly in a total defense context.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic scoping studies review was performed. Peer-reviewed articles were searched in PsycInfo and Sociological Abstracts. Inclusion criteria were met by 25 articles.

Findings

Four higher-order categories with underpinning categories were derived in the analysis. They were modeled as follows: antecedent conditions affect, informal processes and practical efforts, which, in turn, affect inter-organizational trust and collaboration. These higher-order categories are all influenced by formal organizational aspects and the society in which they are found.

Research limitations/implications

The existing literature covering the chosen study focus is limited. Further studies are needed and the presented model can serve as a road map.

Practical implications

A series of questions derived from the categories of the model is presented. The questions are included as a tool for practical reflection for collaborating actors in common education, training or exercise settings or in after-action reviews.

Originality/value

The focus on social psychological aspects of civil-military inter-organizational collaboration, particularly in a total defense context, is new. The suggested relationship between superior themes adds knowledge to a research field dominated by sociological and political science approaches.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

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Article
Publication date: 16 April 2020

Chang Hoon Oh, Jennifer Oetzel, Jorge Rivera and Donald Lien

The purpose of this study is to examine how foreign firms consider natural disaster risk in subsequent investment decisions in a host country and whether different…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine how foreign firms consider natural disaster risk in subsequent investment decisions in a host country and whether different location portfolios can serve to mitigate investment risk.

Design/methodology/approach

The author sample includes data on 437 Fortune Global 500 firms and their initial entry into Chinese provinces between 1955 and 2008.

Findings

Using a fixed effects logit model of discrete time event history analysis, results show that geographic proximity to same multinational corporation (MNC) subsidiaries and different MNC subsidiaries from the same home country mitigates the negative effect of natural disasters on MNC entry into an affected province, while geographic proximity to other MNC subsidiaries from different home countries does not.

Originality/value

The knowledge needed to respond to severe disasters appears to be highly context-specific and shared only between firms with a high degree of commonality and trust.

Details

Multinational Business Review, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1525-383X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 4 February 2019

Maria Gabriela Miranda and Renata Borges

Technology-based incubators depend on high-level knowledge to constantly meet the demands of the market. Incubators offer a variety of specialized services to help…

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2074

Abstract

Purpose

Technology-based incubators depend on high-level knowledge to constantly meet the demands of the market. Incubators offer a variety of specialized services to help startups increase the chances of crossing the valley of death. These services include infrastructure, access to a professional network of mentors and an intensive support of a consultant team to help with managerial and legal challenges. Therefore, it is critical to incubators to develop both highly skilled teams of consultants and social environment that facilitates communication. The purpose of this paper is to understand how innovation-oriented social networks created within technology-based incubators are shaped.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected in five incubators participating connected to federal universities from the state of Minas Gerais. The network attributes collected in the survey were placed in a matrix form. The mapping and measurement of the relationships between individuals were developed using the Ucinet software. Ucinet enables the analysis of attributes (attitudes, behaviors and characteristics) characterized as relational (contacts, ties and relationships). The software also includes the Netdraw network visualization tool, which enables the creation of matrices and graphical network maps. The measurements of centrality, closeness and intermediation were analyzed to assess the intra-organizational social network.

Findings

The results indicate that although the flow of communication does not follow the formal hierarchy, the interaction between team members to spontaneously exchange ideas, information and experiences is rare. The workers are so concerned about their timely tasks, that they have few opportunities to exchange information and knowledge. The coordination is carried out by university professors, who also perform other tasks (e.g. teaching, research and administration activities) besides those related to the incubators. The results also suggest that in the technology-based incubators studied, besides dealing in an innovative environment, the distribution of tasks and responsibilities are still rigid and traditional.

Originality/value

By analyzing the degree of the relationship between team members, the proximity and the level of intermediation of co-workers, it is possible to see how the incubators workers interact, thereby identifying the flow of information. This study offers implications for theory and practice. To the theory, this study adds to the discussion of intra-organizational social network of technology-based companies in the Brazilian context. To practitioners, this research sheds light on the importance of the social network built within the organization to promote effective communication and knowledge sharing.

Details

Innovation & Management Review, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2515-8961

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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2021

Yaoyi Zhou, Chiara Tagliaro and Ying Hua

In large organizations, space planning relies on workgroup leaders to indicate spatial adjacency preferences. However, many factors affect workgroups’ adjacency…

Abstract

Purpose

In large organizations, space planning relies on workgroup leaders to indicate spatial adjacency preferences. However, many factors affect workgroups’ adjacency preferences, and it is not clear how the choices are made. This paper aims to explore whether the adjacency preferences are influenced by the collaboration relationship or constrained by the organizational structure.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors studied a large company’s spatial adjacency planning with an in-depth analysis of its formal organizational structure and collaboration network. A sample of 183 managers was surveyed regarding groups with whom they want to be spatially adjacent and groups with whom they mostly interact. The data enabled us to test three structural factors related to adjacency preference: department affiliation, workgroup’s prestige and collaboration relation. The authors used the quadratic assignment procedure analysis to examine the correlations between network matrices.

Findings

The results suggest that department affiliation and collaboration relations are significantly correlated to adjacency preferences. The authors did not find evidence supporting the notion that a workgroup’s prestige affects the preference. Among the three factors, collaboration relation best predicts the preference, which echoes Pena et al.’s (1977) argument that space planners should look into how groups function, rather than merely following the organizational chart.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this research was the first to explore the choice of spatially adjacent workgroup through a detailed network analysis of the formal structure, work collaboration relations and other group-level characteristics. The findings have noteworthy cross-disciplinary implications, given that spatial proximity can be taken as a human resource management strategy to facilitate the overall interactions between workgroups.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate , vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2003

Martin Spring

It is argued that existing literature on knowledge management fails to combine inter‐and intra‐organizational knowledge transfers and also neglects the role of spatial…

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1852

Abstract

It is argued that existing literature on knowledge management fails to combine inter‐and intra‐organizational knowledge transfers and also neglects the role of spatial proximity in face‐to‐face transfers of tacit knowledge. A model is developed that captures these variables in a dyadic transfer situation, and short cases illustrate aspects of the model. Suggestions are made on how the dyadic model may be developed to apply to interactions in networks of more than two actors.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2009

Carlos Mena, Andrew Humphries and Richard Wilding

Theoretical models of collaboration assume that intra‐organizational relationships are more collaborative that inter‐organizational ones. This paper seeks to question the…

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4374

Abstract

Purpose

Theoretical models of collaboration assume that intra‐organizational relationships are more collaborative that inter‐organizational ones. This paper seeks to question the validity of this assumption by comparing the levels of collaboration in two cases that comprise both types of relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

Two case studies in the UK food industry were conducted, in each two relationships were analyzed: one inter‐ and one intra‐organizational. Data were collected through a questionnaire followed by semi‐structured interviews.

Findings

This exploratory research indicates that in both case studies intra‐organizational relationships have lower levels of collaboration than inter‐organizational ones. This appears to contradict the commonly held assumption that intra‐organizational relationships involve closer collaborations than inter‐organizational ones.

Research limitations/implications

Case study approaches have reliability and generalisability limitations, however, the paper was given in‐depth access to four relationships (two per case), which provide a basis for further research. The use of multiple informants and two methods of data collection helped to increase reliability and efforts were made to reduce bias in responses by ensuring confidentiality and engaging with participating companies in an impartial way.

Practical implications

A better appreciation of collaboration in inter‐ and intra‐ organizational relationships will result in managers making better decisions about how their organization relates internally and externally. This could have implications for decisions on make‐buy, alliances, and acquisitions.

Originality/value

The paper shows that it is possible to have relationships with customers and suppliers that are more collaborative than those between departments within a single organization. This finding appears to challenge traditional assumptions and provides a new perspective of the management of supply chain relationships.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 39 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 13 May 2019

Lisa Melander and Fredrik Tell

The purpose of this paper is to analyze coordination mechanisms in buyer-supplier collaborations in new product development (NPD) and the influence of conflicts of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze coordination mechanisms in buyer-supplier collaborations in new product development (NPD) and the influence of conflicts of interest. Inter- and intra-organizational coordination mechanisms are investigated.

Design/methodology/approach

The findings reported are based on a multiple case study consisting of four cases at two firms. Theoretical sampling consisted in selecting two projects with opposite levels of conflicts of interest between the collaborating firms. In total, 38 interviews were conducted with employees in buying and supplying firms.

Findings

The findings illustrate how inter-firm conflicts of interest affect the way firms coordinate both externally and internally. A high level of conflicts of interest related to information leakage emanated in more distant relationships with limited coordination between buyer and supplier. This restrictive relationship is also reflected in limited coordination between the buyer’s purchasing and research and development (R&D) units.

Research limitations/implications

Generalizability is limited, as only two large industrial firms have been studied, but with four projects investigated in detail. The study shows that in situations, in which there is a conflict of interest, external coordination affects the firms’ internal coordination. Conflicts of interest in buyer-supplier NPD collaborations are managed by limiting information sharing, which is reflected in the way R&D and purchasing are coordinated.

Practical implications

Managers need to be aware of that a firm’s fear of sharing information with its supplier can also transfer to intra-firm unit coordination, as R&D may limit its information sharing with purchasing. On the other hand, in buyer-supplier collaborations with little conflict of interest, firms can form close relationships. Such a close relationship is also mirrored in how R&D and purchasing openly share information and coordinate.

Originality/value

This research contributes to an increased understanding of coordination in buyer-supplier innovation collaboration. Firms not only need to consider their external coordination but also how coordination with suppliers may affect the way they coordinate in NPD projects within the firm between purchasing and R&D.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2017

Alona Mykhaylenko, Brian V. Waehrens and Dmitrij Slepniov

The ability of an organisation’s headquarters (HQ) to bring value to and manage a globally dispersed multinational enterprise has been questioned in the existing…

Abstract

Purpose

The ability of an organisation’s headquarters (HQ) to bring value to and manage a globally dispersed multinational enterprise has been questioned in the existing literature. The purpose of this paper is to suggest that HQ-subsidiary distance is an important factor that affects such ability; this report also investigates the impact of distance on the HQ’s network management capabilities in the context of a global organisation’s evolution.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, a single company was chosen to take part in a retrospective, longitudinal case study that highlighted two embedded product cases. The concept of distance was viewed as a variety of distance dimensions existing between the HQ and its subsidiaries.

Findings

The results indicated that distance impacted the effectiveness of the HQ’s network management capabilities by affecting HQ-subsidiary interaction and, consequently, shaping HQ’s knowledgeability about the subsidiaries’ operations. Moreover, the results suggested that the impact of such distance may shift from positive to negative over the course of a global organisation’s evolution.

Research limitations/implications

Although this study was explorative, some generalisability to industrial-goods companies of Scandinavian origin that have transferred activities to their owned subsidiaries may be expected. Further replication of the study using multiple case companies across various industries and countries is desirable.

Originality/value

This work extends the understanding of technological distance, sheds light on the conditions necessary for the HQ of a globally networked organisation to engage in value creation in the context of its evolution and contributes to the overall appreciation of distance as a factor that comprises multiple dimensions.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

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